Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

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Judging Globalism

February 9th, 2011 · 1 Comment
Feb 8/Debating Globalization

Amartya Sen’s excerpt about his views on Globalization reflect a profound favoritism to its affects on the world.  He states globalization as not only a good but “it is also a gift from the West to the world” (page 19).  The attack against such a proclamations are from those who agree that globalization as a whole is beneficial, but the disparity of benefits between the rich and the poor are so extreme that it can be questioned whether or not you can truly call this “beneficial”.  In those cases the extremists can label globalization as a push for Western dominance and unrelenting influence on the independence of the rest of the world.

The case i found most interesting was how globalization started not from the west to east but rather the east to west.  It is easy nowadays to get lost in the medial anarchy in the world and see how the world views the U.S. as a overbearing father carrying a big stick and using the term “freedom and democracy for all” as its slogan to push their own agendas of world power and dominance on the weak.  But Sen’s point that true globalization started with the eastern countries such as China inventing and developing theories and goods for the west (in this case England, France etc.) to take advantage of.  The Silk Road and the dominance of Genghis Khan’s conquest were easy streamlines for word of mouth to travel to the east to bring simple things such as gunpowder, astronomy, medicine to fuel the fire to bring the rise to the Romans and their lustrous monuments and aqueducts and the innovative warfare tactics of the British armadas.

But whether the central ideologies are from the 1200’s or from 2011, the case is clear.  With or without technology, Globalization is an inevitable product of human beings and their psychological need for togetherness.  The difference now is the velocity in which the services and news travel, case in point, the crisis in Egypt.  It can be argued that there are negative effects and there may be parities in the effected parties, but the case is clear, Globalization benefits all whether they want it to or not.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1    Prof. Hala // Feb 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I like the historical detail — good use of empirical examples. And you also make a number of theoretical propositions. Your statement in the last paragraph caught my attention:
    “With or without technology, Globalization is an inevitable product of human beings and their psychological need for togetherness. ”

    That’s quite bold. It’s packed with a lot assumptions — which is necessary for any theory — but they should be made explicit. And that would simply be too much to do in an exercise like this. Specifically, you’d need to define all the concepts in that sentence (since, like most concepts, there is no agreed-upon empirical definition).

    You draw attention to the important relationship between technology and globalization — but ultimately conclude that technology is not necessary for globalization. That’s an interesting topic for debate. But remember, technology is not just hi-tech. It’s the usage/knowledge of tools or techniques to solve problems, whatever they may be. The wheel, bows and arrows, they’re examples of technology as well.

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